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1. Toyota tops Japanese market rankings
A new Nikkei survey has ranked Toyota as the number one player in the Japanese forklift market, with a 42.6% share of domestic sales in 2003.
Toyota's dominant share increased 1.4% in 2003, thanks to "overwhelming marketing power and brand recognition", the survey said.
Toyota had logged its fifth consecutive record sales year, driven by sales of its Geneo-E three-wheeled electric forklift introduced in January, 2003.
The Nikkei survey said Toyota and Komatsu had increased their market shares through product upgrades, tie-ups with overseas partners and the well-timed introduction of new products.
Komatsu was ranked second in the Japanese market with a 20% share, up 1.2% as a result of increased sales and a new series of Linde-supplied small forklifts.
Third-ranked Nippon Yusoki (Nichiyu), which specialises in electric machines, lost 2.7% to hold 9.7% of the market.
TCM jumped from fifth to fourth place with a 0.2% share increase, surpassing Nissan, which was ranked fifth with a 7.7% share, down 0.4%.
Japanese manufacturers sold 68,449 forklifts in the domestic market in 2003, up 3.9% on 2002, the survey said.
Engine-powered forklifts grew 4.4%, accounting for 38,252 sales, while battery-electric machines rose 3.2% to 30,197.
Meanwhile, Toyota has announced it will increase its sales staff and production of forklifts at its overseas plants.
The company said it expected overseas sales volume to increase to a record 60,000 units this year.
In the USA, the company intends to produce more than 26,000 forklifts, up 15%; Europe was expected to experience a sales increase of 10% to 20,000 units; and in Asia, the company expected a 30% rise to 6,000 units.
Toyota's materials handling sector reported net sales of JPY115.1 billion (USD1.042 billion) for the quarter ended March 31.
2. Airtrax's new Sidewinder available this year
HAMMONTON, NJ, United States
Airtrax has received the first production wheels manufactured by Timken and now expects the first Sidewinder omni-directional forklifts to be available this year.
Airtrax president Peter Amico told Forkliftaction.com News that the patented wheels allow the Sidewinder to travel in any direction.
The truck also had very few parts, making it virtually maintenance-free.
"Now that we've received the first commercially-produced Airtrax omni-directional wheels for the Sidewinder, everyone here is pretty excited," Amico said.
"This means that the long-anticipated Sidewinder lift trucks will be available this year!"
The Timken agreement extended to the supply of omni-directional wheels for Airtrax's Phoenix aerial work platform.
Amico said the Phoenix, to be distributed through MEC dealers, would also go into production this year.
"(Timken has) the manufacturing capability to provide quality production wheels that meet the specifications and tolerances we require, at extremely competitive prices," he said.
- Airtrax website -
3. BT Industries posts USD814m in first-half sales
Favourable market conditions have helped BT Industries record SEK6.173 billion (USD814.4 million) in net sales for the 2004 first half, a 5% increase over the corresponding period last year.
The company's January-June financial statement said a market turnaround first noted in 2003 had continued this year, benefiting first the counterbalance forklift market, and later the warehouse segment, BT's biggest business area.
"The upward trend in North America has been reinforced, but sharp increases in demand are now being reported in a number of other markets as well," the company said.
Orders received in the first half rose by 12% to SEK6.725 billion (USD887.2 million), but the positive trend in warehouse truck orders had not yet translated to deliveries and higher invoicing.
Warehouse sales grew 1% to SEK2.756 billion (USD363.6 million), and counterbalance forklift sales grew 12% to SEK914 million (USD120.6 million).
CEO Per Zaunders said the "entire market" was growing.
"We are now clearly seeing evidence of the economic rebound we expected for some time," he said.
"The market and orders received are growing, and the situation looks bright.
"To secure continued short delivery times we are now working intensely to further improve production capacity to satisfy the rising demand."
BT said gains in counterbalanced forklifts resulted from BT's increased focus on the segment through its own Italian-manufactured products, as well as supply-chain cooperation with Toyota in certain markets.
"The strong positive development in the order intake has resulted in a growing order backlog ... a significant increase in net sales from higher deliveries during the second half of the year can be expected," the report said.
BT Raymond, the company's US arm, performed well in the first half, growing its order book by 14% to SEK2.323 billion (USD306.5 million) and lifting net sales 2% to 2.121 billion (USD279.8 million).
BT said the increased orders would positively affect BT Raymond's net sales later in the year.
- BT Industries website -
5. KAUP issues new Range Brochure
KAUP, the leading forklift attachments manufacturer, has released a new Range Brochure. An additional Fork Positioner T 160 and T160 Z with valve block sideshift has been added and the Fork Positioners on clamp body basis range has been extended to include round arms (rams) T 411 R. The bestselling Double-/Triple Pallet Handler family T 429 has replaced the Type T 419. The Beer Keg Clamp 2 T 415 TB appears for the first time, as do Rotating Fork Positioners T 456 Z. The Rotating Roll Clamp series has been extended to handle car tyres (T 458 R) and tissue paper rolls (T 458 T). The easy-to-use booklet indexes all KAUP attachments and is searchable alphabetically or by model.
The complete Range Brochure and individual brochures can be downloaded from KAUP's website, www.kaup.de, under "Products" and then "Product brochures".
6. Forklift drivers welcome USD150m container port plan
CEBU CITY, Philippines
Forklift drivers have applauded a Cebu Port Authority (CPA) plan to develop a USD150-million complex at the Port of Cebu.
The Cebu Port Forklift Drivers' Association (CPFDA) said the plan would increase demand for forklift drivers and provide further safety measures for operators working at the over-congested port.
Part of the plan is the rehabilitation of 1.2km of berth, costing about US38 million, to accommodate rising vessel numbers.
CPFDA president Celestino Noval said the rehabilitation would mean more jobs for forklift operators as more equipment was introduced.
The CPA said the multi-million-dollar expansion project was necessary, as demand at the port, which has direct links to surrounding countries, including Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan, had steadily increased in recent years.
The CPA reported a 4.79% growth in container traffic in the first 10 months of last year, to 395,997 twenty-foot-equivalent units (TEUs) from 377,891 TEUs in the same period of 2002.
At least seven firms would bid for the building contract, including the Port of Hamburg and two companies from Australia and Japan.
"We are excited to see this development being started," Noval said.
7. Hyster puts fleet management tools on disc
GREENVILLE, NC, United States
Forklift manufacturer Hyster of Greenville, NC, has released a CD-ROM that covers the principles and strategies of cost-effective fleet management.
The Hyster Fleet Analysis CD examines the basic costs of dealing with materials handling using an interactive savings calculator, and relates concepts and theories to real-world situations.
Jeff Meyer, Hyster Fleet Services manager, said businesses wasted more than USD1 billion in unnecessary expenses associated with materials handling equipment, especially on operating and maintenance tasks.
Meyer said only 6% of end-users knew their actual materials handling costs, and even fewer had installed programs to reduce those costs.
- Hyster website -
8. Chinese machinery sector tipped to grow 20%
The China Machine-Building Association (CMBA) has predicted the country's machinery industry will grow 20% this year and continue with 15% or better growth in coming years.
CMBA vice president Cai Weici told Asia Pulse the industry grew 30% in 2003.
Gross industrial output, which includes materials handling equipment, motor vehicles and construction machinery, reached CNY1,539.338 billion (USD186.135 billion) in the first half of this year, up 31.24% on last year.
Output of forklifts and associated equipment rose 40%, but the exact monetary figure was not reported.
Cai attributed the high growth of the machinery industry to increased orders, a better business environment and improved production structures.
9. Forklifts up for grabs at Arnie's big garage sale
SACRAMENTO, CA, United States
California governor and Hollywood movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger is cleaning out the governmental garage and putting it all up for sale in the name of efficiency.
At least one forklift is on the list of thousands of items being auctioned on August 28-29.
"Eliminating surplus property is just one way we can work together to clean out the cobwebs of government," Schwarzenegger said.
California State & Consumer Services Agency secretary Fred Aguiar said the state had leased warehouses full of discarded office equipment and furniture from various state departments.
Among the items for sale is a 1995 Ford Mustang, three aircraft engines, 3000 traffic signal light bulbs and thousands of knives and scissors confiscated at airport security checkpoints.
The government is holding the auction at DGS Surplus Property Warehouse at 1700 National Drive, Sacramento, but bargain-hunters can also buy items on eBay.
FLTA SAFETY CONFERENCE 2004: THE PRACTICAL APPROACH
ALTON, United Kingdom
Reversing safety is one of several key issues to be addressed at the Fork Lift Truck Association (FLTA) Safety Conference, set to take place on September 22 at Warwick University.
The FLTA has released full details of the conference program, and the line-up for attendees includes sessions about site surveys; explosive atmospheres; Thorough Examination; working platforms; electric trucks; LPG trucks and reversing.
A government report on common forklift accidents revealed that "struck by moving truck" was the biggest accident category, and "counterbalance" was the main truck type involved.
The report shows that 43% of serious incidents in which people were struck by counterbalance trucks involved reversing, highlighting the need for reverse warning equipment.
A newly-announced session on site surveys will also be relevant to the problem of avoiding collisions - whether the trucks involved are moving forwards or backwards.
The FLTA's entire program is focused on practical solutions to practical problems, focused directly on the needs of end-users.
FTLA CEO David Ellison urged delegates to book early.
"Last year the tickets sold out well before the event, leaving many potential delegates disappointed, and we expect even higher demand this year," he said.
To book tickets for the FLTA Safety Conference 2004, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.fork-truck.org.uk.
- FLTA website -
|In the Discussion Forums|
|Do you agree? Share your thoughts!|
"I heard SAS completely disables the truck and you need to call for service to deactivate the truck :-)) Another thing is that the beneath-the-frame cylinders and reevings are totaly exposed, what makes use in harsh applications very costly."
Test your skills and beat Mikael!
"Has anybody played the game that appears when you click on the Cat banner advert in the Forkliftaction.com newsletter? Am I such a bad forklift operator or is it the game?"
Can you help this member?
"We are planning on acquiring two 18-20 rows wide STS cranes next year. We see many different brands in the market, and we would like to know what each of them can offer, in terms of capital and maintenance cost, as well as performance and reliability."
Aisle width calculation theories...
"Other factors that effect aisles are building specs, dimension of loads, height of storage systems, side to side load clearance and productivity demands. A rule of thumb is head length plus load length, plus 6" to 12" clearance for basic load to load aisle dimension."
|1. Liebherr increased its turnover by 9% to USD2.5 billion in the first half, and reports production capacity is at 100%.|
2. Major North American Heavy Equipment Manufacturer Unveils New Custom Designed Lift Truck
3. The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) has voiced its support for the addition of the Dominican Republic to the Central American Free Trade Agreement.
4. Car maker Aston Martin has installed two Atlet OPS man-rising order-pickers to improve efficiency at its parts facility in Milton Keynes.
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